|Fourth of July Lake as we entered the bowl.|
As luck had it, we hit the Winnemucca-Round Top Lakes Loop trail in July/August when wildflowers were in full bloom, making this a most colorful hike!
|Late July and early August were the wildflower extravaganza on the east hike up from Woods Lake to Winnemucca and then Round Top Lake.|
Distance: With some additional exploration, we hiked about 14 1/2 miles on our trip to Fourth of July Lake. The Round Top loop was about 6 1/2 miles with a little exploration beyond Round Top Lake, toward Fourth of July Lake, to help plan my annual backpacking trip with one of my grandsons the next week. Both trips were rewarding and fun thanks to the flowers, and the snow banks here and there at the higher elevations.
Elevations: 9419 was the highest recorded on both hikes, but we estimated about + 50-75 on our boulder scrambling. 2864 ft elevation changes recorded on Fourth of July Lake trip; 1325" recorded on Round Top Lake hike.
Parking: It costs $5 cash in an envelope per day for both day trip and per day for a full backpacking stay. We parked at Woods Lake Parking.
- There is a restroom in the parking area. It is decent sized and you can park along the road if it is full.
- There is water available from creeks (bring your purifier) and the lakes.
- No poison oak.
- Not suitable for strollers but we saw happy kids on the loop day hike, and yes, even backpacking kids!
- Many campsites do not have any close access to water, but more disappointing was the lack of any lake view.
- Popular site so getting a "wilderness/solitude" experience is less likely.
- No quad maps were available. I expected to get one for my grandson to both educate him and to keep as memorabilia of our trip.
Backpacking permits must be picked up at the Carson Pass Information Station, manned mostly by volunteers, on the first day of your trip. I confess, this system is poor. "First come-first serve", right at the cabin, not at the destination. They assign campsites. Groups were divided all over each destination, rather than grouped together, and my grandchild and I had to break camp and move three times over 5 days. No online reservations from Mokulumne Wilderness. Avoid 4th of July site 4. No tent site there really. It was rocky with no flat tent area provided. That far back in I cannot imagine who would want to use it. It is also far from the water with no view of the lake. It is the last case scenario camp to take. Two groups offered us sites for our two nights there so we accepted them with love and appreciation.
|4th of July Lake has sandy beaches!|
Day permits are not required.
Fire Permits required for use of any campstove etc.
Others have posted tracks you can use on AllTrails, but here are links to mine to view the maps:
Fourth of July Lake
Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes Loop
|It was smokey due to forest fires around CA, but there were rivers of color along the hike down into the Fourth of July Lake bowl that stood as tall as my preteen grandson!.|